BWW Blog: Meet Jennifer Kronenberg of Miami City Ballet
In many ways it seems so surreal that Miami City Ballet is already embarking on its 30th Anniversary Season. Having been a part of the company for 21 of those seasons, it seems like I simply blinked and suddenly arrived at this point in time. When I really stop to think about it though, and reflect back on all of those years, I have seen the company grow, change and evolve tremendously. What is most amazing to me is the one thing in particular that has been an unwavering constant - the dancers' incredible spirit. There is no disguising how passionate each one of is, and has always been, about what we do. It is clear how collectively appreciative we are to work alongside one another, and grateful for the opportunity to share our passion with the audience. But performing, of course, is our dessert. First comes the process - the hearty meal that nourishes our souls each and every day. Whether we are tackling a company premiere, or revisiting a work we have done a dozen times, we approach it with the same intense commitment. This season is a bouquet of so many exciting ballets, and it is hard to imagine that only eight weeks into our season, as our opening night nears, we have already immersed ourselves deeply into practically all of them.
Personally, one of the pieces I am looking the most forward to performing again is Liam Scarlett's Viscera. As a member of the original world premiere cast, I had the great pleasure of working with him through his creative process, and it was a uniquely rewarding experience. Throughout his work on the pas de deux especially, he seemed to truly appreciate and consider the distinctions of what each couple had to offer, both physically and artistically, and incorporated each pair's individualities into his own outline of ideas.
Truthfully, I wasn't sure if working on Viscera again now, years later (and without his presence) would feel as fulfilling as it did the first time around, but I have to say that it has really been. Ricardo Cervera, first soloist and ballet master with the Royal Ballet did an incredible job re-staging the ballet for us. I feel like he inspired everyone to re-reflect on the piece, and discover new nuances within the choreography. He encouraged us to focus not only the steps, but more importantly the stylistic intent. He really helped Liam's signature movement quality become fluent in our bodies once again.
Ricardo's positive influence made me want to keep digging deeper and really think about what my own role is within the ballet. I dance the central pas de deux, which is a profound contrast to the first and third movements that bookend it. Its quiet intensity ebbs and flows in waves with a fierce, yet understated, tension. The woman exudes a mysterious creature-like prowess over the man. She surrenders herself to his manipulations through the currents of complex partnering, and yet, there is a sense that she is somehow the stronger, more dominating entity. It seems, at least to me, that their abstract relationship revolves around her fluctuating consent. She takes pleasure in their magnetic connection, but is still conflicted. Throughout the pas de deux she seems to be struggling internally over her commitment to their co-existence. She keeps pulling away, looking and reaching out, like she yearns for change, or freedom, yet she constantly succumbs to their connection and allows herself to be drawn back by him. The pas de deux resolves as she assuredly faces him, standing perfectly still, fixated on his eyes as if to say "that's it, no more." She slowly steps backward to sever their emotional bond, then calmly turns and walks away, not in anger, but with an almost emotionless confidence and control. It is as if she has simply detached, deciding once and for all to respect her own individuality.
With each rehearsal, I feel more connected to the music, to my partner (who happens to be my wonderful husband, and favorite person to dance with, Carlos Guerra), and to the choreography itself. Our next step is the stage, and I am really looking forward to opening night. What an artistically fulfilling way to begin such a milestone season in MCB's history.
Miami City Ballet's 30th Anniversary Season opens at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami on Oct. 23-25, followed by performances in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Tickets begin at just $20, and are available at miamicityballet.org or by calling the MCB Box Office at 305.929.7010 or 877.929.7010 toll free.